The Levels Of Carbon Dioxide

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In the modern industrial era, the levels of Carbon Dioxide produced are much more significant than in years before. Due to Carbon Dioxides involvement in ocean acidification, this is a major issue. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the pH of the ocean surface has fallen by 0.1 units. Although this may not seem significant, due to the logarithmic properties of the pH scale, this change signifies about a 30% increase in ocean acidity. If this issue isn’t addressed, there will be dire consequences for both marine organisms, as well as humans. To understand ocean acidification, some chemistry needs to be defined and understood.
Co2 is a compound molecule comprising of one carbon atom bonded to two oxygen atoms through a
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The molecules gain a shell of water molecules and are transformed from CO2 (g) to CO2 (aq). This is known as the dissolution process. This can be shown in the equilibrium reaction.
Equilibrium is a state in a reaction in which both the reactants and the products are present in concentrations that are both constant, and will not change over time. This state results when the forward reaction is proceeding at the same rate as the reverse reaction. An example of this can be seen in the dissolution of Sodium Chloride in water. If the equilibrium equation NaCl(s) NaCl (aq) is used, we can see that the compound in the solid form is re-crystalizing at the same rate as the aqueous form is dissolving. There are 3 main disturbances that can alter equilibrium, a change in concentration of reactants or products, a change in temperature or a change in pressure. According to Le Chatelier’s principle, if any of these three is disturbed, the system compensates by shifting the equilibrium to either the left or the right. This can be seen in the equilibrium reactions associated with sea water. In the dissolution process of CO2 discussed before, not all of the CO2 molecules remain dissolved. A small amount react with the water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), which can be seen in the equation CO2 (aq) + H2O H2CO3 (aq). As carbonic acid is a weak acid, it can dissociate to bicarbonate or carbonate. These two equations respectfully are H2CO3 (aq H+ (aq) + HCO3- (aq),
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